Improved labyrinth seal designs are disclosed. The present invention relates to labyrinth seal systems with selected sealing surfaces and seal geometry to optimize flow deflection and produce maximum turbulent action. Optimum seal performance is generally accomplished by providing sealing surfaces and fluid cavities formed to dissipate fluid energy as a function of the geometry of the sealing surfaces along with the position and size of the fluid cavities formed between members of the labyrinth seal system. Improved convex surfaces, annular flow reversal grooves, flow deflection blocks and rough, machined surfaces cooperate to enhance the performance of the labyrinth seal systems. For some labyrinth seal systems a mid-cavity throttle and either rigid teeth or flexible spring teeth may be included.